Friday, December 26, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Now that Christmas has come and is time to start thinking of our resolution(s) for this upcoming year. As some of you know I love the true definitions of words so I looked up the words resolution and resolve and found that their actual definitions are this: A determination to do something or an earnest decision. I often will make a list of things that I want to work on with great desire and determination at the beginning and then I will gradually slow down in my efforts until I reach the point of giving no effort at all. When it comes to the true defintion of resolve I guess I have rarely actually had one but the time is now.

I challenge us all this year to choose just one thing to work on, one thing to be better at. Often times we notice all of our weaknesses and when we determine to be better we try to tackle them all at once. I have found that this technique always results in failure to meet our well intentioned goals. My challenge to all of us is to make a list of the things we want to do or be better at this year and to tackle each of them one by one as priorities guide. My hope is that we all can have a greater determination to do something with the serious intent to follow through and meet our goal(s).

Elder Ballard said, "When you learn to master the principle of setting a goal, you will then be able to make a great difference in the results you attain in this life. We can become the masters of our own destinies by practicing self-discipline and by setting worthy goals that will lead to higher ground so that we can become what our Heavenly Father wants us to become."

Just as Elder Ballard said, we need to set worthy goals that will lead us to higher ground and that will help us see a greater result. One thing that I found very helpful in setting goals is to create goals that are measurable. When you can see your results and see that you are progressing or that you are meeting your goals it can be incredibly gratifying and rewarding - it can be a great propelling force to help you continue on in your quest to reach that goal or that resolve.

So as you write down your goals for this year think of ways to make them more measurable. For example, if you were going to write "be more kind to my sister" think of something more specific and measurable like "play with my sister every week" or "compliment my sister everyday". When you are more specific and have an actually action to complete it is more likely to take place as you will be more likely to follow through.

At the links below you can find great charts to help you stay on track and follow your progress throughout the year. There are charts and calendars for many different areas of life but if you can't find one here that you like or that matches your goal then create one that works for you.

Commitment Calendars by Emily Peterson - There are calendars to mark off anything from exercise to family home evenings.

Good luck to us all as we set out this next year to do better and to become better.

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